Boston Birthday Bash


There is some inexplicable and subconscious comfort in being around good friends.  Especially ones that are full of generosity, good humour and affability. Friends who will honour your birthday with a night centered around your favourite team even when it is not theirs.

Recently, I was feted with a Boston-themed soiree by these friends of mine and treated to a meal of staggering proportions, a ‘Best of New England’ menu accessorized with Red Sox napkins, balloons, plates and cups. The crab salad was fresh, fragrant, zingy, crunchy with equal parts sweet and creamy. The chowdah was the best I’ve ever had. And I’ve had plenty. The broth was clean and allowed the palate to fully access all the flavours of the ingredients with the corn and the chives providing a boost of flavour. The risotto was decadent and flawless. Hefty chunks of perfectly cooked lobster surrounded by tender rice in the most tasty of broths accented by a side of fresh greens.

For me, the deconstructed Boston Cream Pie was the highlight of the meal, and not just because the recipe was from my favourite pastry chef, Bostonian Joanne Chang-Myers. It’s what dreams are made of. And I’m still dreaming. Layers of buttery sponge cake sandwiching pastry cream, topped with a glazed layer of chocolate. Luscious and showstopping.

When I walked up the house steps only to see the Red Sox banners flapping in the breeze, I knew it was going to be a great night. And it was. I am very lucky to be surrounded by such generous pals who are kind enough to come along for the ride and celebrate my love affair with the city of Boston and my beloved Red Sox. Below is part of a poem by E. B. White (author of Charlotte’s Web) that I think perfectly illustrates the true essence of the city of Boston and why I love it so. It’s called “Boston Is Like No Other Place in the World, Only More So.” Enjoy!

When I am out of funds and sorts
And life is all in snarls,
I quit New York and travel east
To Boston on the Charles.

In Boston, life is smoother far,
It’s easier and freer,
Where every boy’s a Harvard man
And every man’s a skier.

There’s something in the Boston scene
So innocent, so tranquil,
It takes and holds my interest
The same as any bank will.

For Boston’s not a capital,
And Boston’s not a place;
Rather I think that Boston is
A sort of state of grace.

The people’s lives in Boston
Are flowers blown in glass;
On Commonwealth, on Beacon,
They bow and speak and pass.

No man grows old in Boston,
No lady ever dies;
No youth is ever wicked,
No infant ever cries.

No orthodox Bostonian
Is lonely or dejected,
For everyone in Boston
With everyone’s connected.

So intricate the pattern,
The barroom of the Ritz
Becomes a jigsaw puzzle
Each life a piece that fits.

Each Boston girl is swept along
Down the predestined channel
To where she meets a Boston boy
Alert in Brooksian flannel,

Magnificent in fallen socks,
His hair like stubble weeds,
His elbow patch an earnest of
The fellowship of tweeds.

When Muzak plays in Boston,
It wakes celestial stings,
And I can sit in Boston
And think of many things.

For Boston’s not a capital,
And Boston’s not a place;
Rather I feel that Boston is
The perfect state of grace.

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  1. Wow. what a bash, what food and I can’t think of a more deserving guy…I hope your “birthday month” was amazing. If I could have pulled the pie off the screen and had it for breakfast I would have. I need to check out that cookbook! Happy Belated.

  2. Aw shucks, t’was nothing. And we mean that literally, when compared to the gastronomic delights that CFD has served us in the past. You’re a wonderful friend.

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